Shared Worlds is a summer creative writing experience like no other!
Students gather to create a world, to write in that world, to share that world.
Shared Worlds is hands down one of the best experiences of my life. I’d known for a long time that I had an interest in doing collaborative creative work, so the idea of World Building really appealed to me. It turned out to be cooler than I could have imagined. I walked away with a sense of confidence in my creative abilities for the first time and a renewed excitement in the creative process (and a group of new friends that, two years later, I still talk to and see with some frequency). I used my experience at Wofford’s Shared Worlds in almost all of my college essays. I think that because it is a truly unique experience—one where success is determined by the team work and passion of those involved—I attribute a large amount of my success during the admissions process to Shared Worlds. I knew going in that I wanted to write for television and comic books one day, but I walked out thinking there was an actual chance that I could do that.
-Kristine Wolbrink, former participant in Shared Worlds
Shared Worlds is an interdisciplinary program that encourages students to solve problems, to assimilate large quantities of information, to work in groups, and to express themselves creatively. Students will meet and collaborate with professors and peers who share their interest in today's hottest literature genres.
Shared Worlds is a two-week residential camp based on a "shared world" theme. A shared world is a growing trend in fiction that centers around a complete, fictional world designed by a group. During Wofford's Shared World program, students will design fantasy worlds with other young, creative writers and share those worlds through fiction, art, and game design.
One way to help understand the program's innovative concept is to think of a detailed encyclopedia entry on a country. Each Shared Worlds group will actually create all the material to fill such an entry for their world (history, economy, language, etc.) in a way that is internally consistent. Speculative fiction writers call this "world building". Examples include Middle-Earth, Narnia, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
In order to build a shared world, students will attend overview classes with Wofford College professors in many disciplines, including history, religion, and physics. Furthermore, students will take classes in creative writing. All classes emphasize problem solving, collaborative learning, and experiential learning.
Creating or building the world is the first challenge. The second challenge comes when students try to write in a world they have created with others. On one hand, an individual student benefits from the creativity of others, but on the other he must also follow rules agreed upon by the group.
This program takes a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Students will be exposed to as many disciplines as they may possibly need, and be given the skills to explore and research other disciplines.
Furthermore, Shared Worlds encourages individual creativity as well as collaboration. Individuals contribute to the group while learning to function within it.. That is, being a good citizen means doing your part and keeping in mind the needs of the whole group. There is a distinct emphasis on problem-solving and communication skills.
The culminating event of the camp is an exhibition day, during which each group presents their fiction and other elements of their world, which might include games, maps, artwork, and music.